First, the bad news about turf battles in federal agencies: They still exist. In fact, they’ve become more common than ever with the proliferation of chief executive, or CXO, titles over the past decade.
But here’s the good news: Current and former federal officials we spoke with agree that turf battles are less acrimonious, easier to overcome most of the time, and, perhaps most important, less about managers wanting to mark their territory and more about the best way to meet agency mission.
Still, turf battles span the gamut from squabbles over petty matters to clashes over issues of major significance.
Offering an example of the latter, one federal official recently described on ongoing rift at his agency between the CIO and chief financial officer over several high-profile issues, including Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 and IT security.
“For many agencies, physical security is under the CFO and IT security is under the CIO, so where does the [HSPD-12] card fall?” the official said. “No one wants to deal with it, and there is no teamwork.”
How can you survive or avoid turf battles? Experts offered the following tips: